Powerstop Extreme 4Runner Brakes

 In 5th Gen Mods, Maintenance

Powerstop Extreme Brake Upgrade for 5th Gen 4Runner

Powerstop Extreme Brake Upgrade for 5th Gen 4Runner

Z36 Extreme Brake Pads and Evolution Rotors for 5th Generation 4Runner

If you are looking for an upgraded brake option on your 5th Gen 4Runner, you can go with factory brakes from the service center or a performance upgrade. Many owners out there will only go with factory brakes. This is a debated topic among many drivers out there, not just 4Runner world. To each their own, just do your research.

If you are looking at aftermarket brake upgrades, the Powerstop Extremes are one option. The Powerstop Extreme carbon fiber and ceramic brake pads, as well as upgraded drilled and slotted Zinc Evolution rotors come as a complete kit specifically for our generation 4Runner.

The Powerstop Extreme brake pads are made of carbon ceramic paired with their infused formula. The pads are also copper-free, with SB 346 standards (Issued by the Department of Toxic Substances Control). The Powerstop Extremes are thermal scorched for faster break-in. The rotors are made of Zinc and help to prevent rust during normal operation.

These brakes also utilize premium hardware and all necessary hardware is included in the kit.

Choosing between OEM/Factory and Performance Brakes?

This is our initial overview of price, not actual performance. We will see what happens in a few months and update the page.

Since August of 2014, we have pumped the brakes a few times on the 4Runner. We were in for our 40k service at the service center and they said we needed brakes. I got a quote on both turning the rotors and new rotors all the way around. The numbers and total costs are below.

Front Brakes (pads and turning rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $77.26
  • Machining both rotors, labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $277.25

Front Brakes (pads and new rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $77.26
  • New rotors $186.40 & labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $463.66

Rear Brakes (pads and turning rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $82.00
  • Machining both rotors, labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $281.99

Rear Brakes (pads and new rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $82.00
  • New rotors $233.74 & labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $515.74

Total cost from Toyota Service Center 

  • Parts and labor machining = $559.24+ tax
  • Parts and labor with new rotors = $979.40+ tax
  • Rotors need to be ordered and will take 24 hours to arrive.

Z36 Brake Pads & Evolution Rotors: Around $400

In the kit, you get both sets of front brake pads, both sets of rear brake pads, and all four slotted and drilled rotors. You can install the whole kit in about 3-4 hours with two people, and basic shop tools. We swapped out the old brake pads and rotors in about 4-5 hours because we did some video and took photos along the way. We also threw on wheel spacers while the tires were off, but that was pretty quick.

It was a pretty easy install and there was no part of the install that took special tools. Basic shop tools will get the job done.

The Powerstop Extreme Z36 Brake Pads

Z36 Brake Pads 5th Gen 4Runner

We purchased a set of the Z36 extreme truck and tow brake pads for the front and rear 4Runner brakes. The Z36 extreme brake pads come with all of the cotter pins and rear mounting brackets you need as well as ceramic/silicone brake component lubricant for applying to the outsides of your brake pads.

Evolution Rotors

Powerstop Evolution Rotors 5th Gen 4Runner

The Powerstop Evolution performance drilled and slotted rotors are designed with precision machining and castings. All of Powerstop rotors are engineered from OEM specs.

The Powerstop rotors feature beveled drilled holes which keep your rotor and pad temperatures down during extreme braking. The rounded slots help to keep a constant patch between the pad on the rotor as well as sweeping away gases, dust, and debris.

The rotors are also zinc plated, except for the hub assembly. The zinc plated rotors help to prevent rust during normal operation.

This is what Powerstop says

Evolution Rotors

The Powerstop extreme brake pads and rotors are designed for tow and truck performance. This means that the brake pads and rotors are the designed around weight and performance stopping under extreme load ratings.

Whether you are towing a trailer or a boat, you are overloaded with weight, or you simply have larger tires, the Powerstop Extremes are designed for your application.

With extra weight, heavier tow loads, or extreme stopping with factory brake pads and rotors, you may experience brake fade or even extended stopping distances. The Z36 truck and tow pads in this kit are made using a proprietary carbon fiber and ceramic content compound.

The carbon fibers reinforce the pad compound which helps to prevent heat and increase stopping power. The ceramic makeup provides superior resistance for common OEM brake fade and reduces annoying brakes squeal and dust. The Z36 brake pads claim to reduce dust as well as common brake squeal issues with OEM and aftermarket brakes.

Again, this is what Powerstop says about their Brakes. We will see how the hold up compared to the factory setup.

Break-in procedure (Brake Pad Bedding)

Brake pad bedding is the process of gradually applying heat to your pads and rotors.

After your Z36 brake pads and Evolution rotors have been installed you want to follow a break-in procedure upon initially driving your 4Runner. This break in procedure is common on most aftermarket performance brake kits.

The first phase of the break-in is five aggressive deacceleration brakes from 40mph down to 10mph back to back. Speed up to 40mph and brake, let off when your odometer reaches 10mph. Repeat this step 4 more times.

You do not want to come to a complete stop. Upon this first phase of break-in procedure, the rotors will be very hot and if you do come to a complete stop the pad may create an imprint on the rotor, which causes DTV (Disc Thickness Variation) Issues. Again it is in very important not to come to a complete stop.

The second phase of breaking in your brakes is five moderate deacceleration brakes from 35 miles an hour to 5 miles an hour back to back without letting the brakes cool down. At this point, you should expect to smell some break resin as the brake pads get hot.

The third phase of the break-in procedure is driving around slowly to let your brakes cool down for around five minutes, and you may want to go a little longer without breaking. This phase of the break-in procedure allows your the heated resin in the brake pads to cool and cure.

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Brenan - Trail4RjohnMichael Millitello @summit4runnerBrenan - Trail4RRonell B Batulayan Recent comment authors
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Ronell B Batulayan
Ronell B Batulayan

What is your 6th month assessment on these pads & rotors?

Michael Millitello @summit4runner
Michael Millitello @summit4runner

Definitely going to need a set of these soon! A few thousand miles ago my brakes started to shutter quite a bit when braking hard and especially when braking at high speeds or down hill. I think what attributed to this was some off-roading and some rocks getting wedged in the brakes because there are ruts worn into the discs. Also, I think my mechanic may not have broken them in properly as there has always been a bit of a jitter when braking. Hopefully these new brakes will resolve the issue, I will update when I replace them.


Curious what your 1 year thoughts are on these? I need to get new brakes figured I would upgrade…

Ive read people dont use the supplied hardware and just use the OEM… Curious what you did.

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